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What Criminal Minds Fans Really Think Of Morgan And Garcia's Relationship

Over the course of its 15 seasons (and now with a 16th in the works), the creative team behind "Criminal Minds" smartly avoided romances between the members of the Behavioral Analysis Unit at the center of the CBS crime procedural. While most other long-running series tend to dive deep into intra-staff relationships — featuring doctors exploring their anatomy in an on-call room or police officers and district attorneys making a true union of law and order — but instead, "Criminal Minds" paired its main cast with supporting characters who would come and go as the story warranted ... usually before meeting a gruesome death.

Though members of the BAU weren't romantically entwined, save for an aborted Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Jennifer Jareau (A.J. Cook) match up, there was a considerable amount of flirting between Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) and Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore). While their sexually charged banter never blossomed into a physical relationship, a recent discussion on Reddit among fans of the series delved into whether a "Morcia" coupling should have happened.

Penelope and Derek flirted for years, but kept it platonic

When "Criminal Minds" premiered in 2005, Special Agent Derek Morgan was slightly different from the character most remember from his time on the series. Initially, his wardrobe comprised well-tailored suits, silk ties, and trench coats — the standard uniform of a G-Man. While he was good with the ladies, Season 2 leveled up his suave demeanor and saw his suits traded for tight-fitted tees.

Penelope Garcia served as the unit's master of all things tech. A flashback episode in Season 3 shows Garcia's first day on the job. Unsure of her name, Morgan asks Reid, who, despite his incredible memory, incorrectly tells him "Gomez." When Garcia doesn't respond to "Gomez," Morgan calls her "Baby Girl." The moniker stuck, and became Morgan's preferred nickname for her, with the occasional "Doll face" and "Sweetness" thrown in for variety. Garcia also had a series of nicknames for Morgan, including "Man Chocolate" and "Hot Chocolate Thunder."

Though their flirtations often raised eyebrows — speakerphone was not kind to Garcia and Morgan — the two shared a friendship stronger than most others in the show. When Garcia was nearly murdered, Morgan stayed at her apartment to ensure her safety. When Morgan was promoted to acting unit chief, Garcia surprised him by setting up his office, complete with colorful knick knacks.

Fans have strong opinions on "Morcia"

A few months ago, Redditor u/hotchnerseyebrows wondered if other fans of the show wished the writers would have moved Garcia and Morgan beyond flirtation and into an actual romance. The question generated a good amount of interest, with replies that were both for and against the idea. Interestingly, as much as fans love the characters and their playful exchanges, most replies disagreed with the OP, who wanted the romance.

Essentially, those opposed to the idea believed Garcia and Morgan were better as friends, and that a romance would have risked that bond (as well as possibly breaching FBI protocols). One of the more tongue-in-cheek responses snarked that Garcia-Morgan would have made more sense than the aforementioned Spencer-JJ storyline (to be fair, fans really hated that one). Another commenter who preferred the strong friendship expressed frustration with the stereotype of a man and woman in a platonic relationship always getting involved romantically or sexually.

Though the "Morcia" ship never materialized, Penelope Garcia and Derek Morgan provided some of the series' most touching and sincere moments, as well as some of the funniest. Their relationship proved both genuine and essential as each faced difficult challenges, knowing they had each other's back.